LSU Tigers vs Yale Bulldogs Pick

March 21, 12:40 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
LSU -7

The SEC's surprise regular-season champion meets the Ivy League's dual champ when Louisiana State runs with Yale in an NCAA tournament East regional battle Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville (12:40 pm ET, TruTV). The Tigers are favored by a touchdown on the Big Dance betting line, but as of early this week, they're not sure if they'll have their head coach on the sidelines for this one.

The Line

The NCAA tournament betting odds opened LSU at -8 over the Bulldogs, with an over/under of 160. Both figures were holding steady in early betting action.

Any bettors thinking Yale might pull the outright upset here could get upwards of +280 on the money line.

Bulldogs-Tigers Betting Preview

No. 13 seed Yale (22-7 SU, 16-13 ATS) stumbled just a bit down the stretch this season, losing three of four games into March, but beat Princeton in its regular-season finale finish 10-4 in an Ivy League that sends just one team, these Elis, to the NCAA tournament. Yale then beat those same Tigers in the semifinals of the Ivy League tournament 83-77, then beat Harvard Sunday 97-85 to earn its second invitation to the Big Dance in the last four seasons.

No. 4 seed Louisiana State (26-6 SU, 19-12-1 ATS) won nine of its last 10 games, including its last five in a row, to finish an impressive 16-2 in an SEC that sends seven teams to the Dance. But these Tigers lost Coach Wade to a suspension, then lost their first game in the SEC tournament 76-73 to Florida. Still, LSU is back in the Dance after missing out the last two seasons.

As of this writing Coach Wade's status for this game remains uncertain.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

  • The Bulldogs are 1-2 both SU and ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament, with a win over Iona, a 79-70 loss to Vermont and a 91-58 loss at Duke. Yale actually only trailed the Blue Devils by eight points early in the second half but faded from there and missed the cover as 24-point dogs.
  • The Bulldogs are also only 1-5 ATS as underdogs this season.
  • The Tigers are 7-4 SU, 7-3-1 ATS against teams that made the Dance this season, with wins over SEC tournament champion Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. LSU also suffered two close losses to the Gators and others to Houston and Florida State.
  • Louisiana State is also 9-4 ATS this season when favored in single digits.

Yale-LSU History

The only previous meeting between these two programs came back in 1969, a 97-94 Yale victory in a game played in Hawaii... Pistol Pete Maravich tossed in 34 for LSU that day, but Jim Morgan scored 35 for the Bulldogs.

Totals Report

The unders are 15-14 in Yale games this season, even though they're averaging a healthy 154 total points. In fact, the overs are 5-2 the Bulldogs last seven times out.

The overs are 19-13 in LSU games this season, which are also averaging 154 points, and 5-3 over the Tigers' last eight games.

LSU vs Yale Pick 03/21/2019

Yale pulled a first-round upset of Baylor in the Dance three seasons ago, but LSU is just the better team here, battle-tested after winning 16 games in the SEC. The Tigers are also tough on the boards, and they make their free throws at a 75-percent rate.

Free Pick: 
Despite the coaching situation, we're giving the points with LSU. -7

Attention NCAAB handicappers: Research past scores and point spread results on our College Basketball Database